People Out Loud: ‘Promises to Be Good… In Writing.’

August 2021 Posted in Uncategorized

This was an ad for Heidelberg Beer back in 1969-1970.  I recall the big billboard was on North Water, right around where Photo Express sits today, and across from the turkey plant. Yes, the turkey plant, where the gobblers hung on hooks on a conveyor built and grossed us out as we walked toward school. The sign simply said, “Heidelberg Beer. Promises to Be Good. In Writing.”

Legend has it that three of our industrious classmates climbed the very high billboard and spray painted the words, “Class of ‘70” in the middle of the sign, in between “Promises to Be Good” and “In Writing”.  It was, simply put, genius. Guys, I know what you did that summer!

Our 50th reunion was postponed due to COVID-19, so we just celebrated our 51st on Aug. 7 at Silver Falls Brewery.  The day started with about 20 of us marching in the Homer parade, walking, riding in classic cars, and carrying signs. Wearing T-Shirts that carried the slogan that made us famous. “Promises to Be Good. Class of ’70. In Writing.” Naturally in orange and black with a fox logo. I had to laugh. It is tough to create a buzz of excitement for a reunion, much less a 50th-51st, and I could not tell if the crowd was with us or sympathizing because they had assumed that we only had 18 left from a class of 250! We probably have about 210 left, and 40 of our friends have passed. But we did approach 100 attendees Saturday night, which was impressive given COVID, travel, age, and interest. One came from Georgia, another from North Carolina, and a third couple from Minnesota. We have three ministers, about 93,000 grandkids between us, and genuinely fun, caring, and interesting people.

At our age, a reunion every year would be impractical. But a 50th (albeit 51st) was special. The food was terrific, the slide show put together by Darby Hector was incredible, revealing, and so very entertaining. It was an amazing night seeing people with whom I shared a remarkable four years of high school, and in many cases, four years of middle school. The beauty of such events is that “cliques” and “clubs” mostly fell by the wayside. Sure, the people I see regularly because they still live in Silverton were great to visit with but seeing people for the first time in decades was inspiring. Some looked like they had aged three years instead of 51. The humor was there. The serious nature was there. The mannerisms and memories were there. 

The most difficult part of the evening was the “memorial” board. 40 friends and classmates gone to cancer, accidents, and natural causes. Looking at their high school faces, they looked so young, and I remembered most of them instantly. Young faces full of life, optimism, and all with memories for me except a few who I could not place. That made me sad. Why did I not get to know them? Where did they go after high school? Why does their memory escape me? It bothered me. A few of my great friends were up there on the wall. Played football with four of them. Acted in a play with another. It was the tough part of the night. It struck home that our time on this earth is short.

But the evening was so wonderful. Lots of laughter. A ton of memories, almost all good and some hilarious. I recognized one friend from 100 yards away, because he still walked like he did on the baseball field 50 years ago. 

We were a good class. We have done good things in the world since June 1970. We cared, we shared, we laughed, we cried, and we made a difference. Not to say our time is over, because there was a lot of vibrancy and life left in that somewhat raucous crowd Saturday night. But for the most part, we Promised to be Good, and I think we delivered.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.